Milton Margai Technical University, Freetown, 11 November 2021 – His Excellency President Dr Julius Maada Bio has inaugurated the Milton Margai Technical University, MMTU, and installed Dr Victor Ekundayo Alexandra Kabia as the first Chancellor of the university.
Before his statement, the President implored the gathering to rise and bow their heads for a moment of silence for compatriots who had been laid to rest in the wake of that great fuel tanker explosion and fire calamity of Friday 5 November 2021.
“But all is not grim in our nation. Yesterday, the world passed judgement on how my Government is ruling the country. The Millennium Corporation Challenge of the United States of America released its scores. For the third year running, the scores affirm that my Government is ruling justly. Additionally, Sierra Leone passed the control of corruption indicator, and this time, with an even higher score of 83%.
“Sierra Leone also received passing scores on human and civil rights, ruling justly and on natural resource management. The world recognises, for the first time, that we are now managing our natural resources as a responsible nation should,” he said.
He added that his government wasn’t at the occasion to announce surprises but that they were there to further cement their solid reputation for fulfilling pledges that they made.
“Talk and do. My Government has fulfilled another manifesto commitment. It is indeed my pleasure and great honour to be here at the inauguration of the Court and the installation of the Chancellor of the brand new Milton Margai Technical University.
“As promised in the people’s manifesto and delivered, I make this announcement today not as Chancellor but as VISITOR to this University as per law. I will support the growth and development of the university, but I will no longer be its chancellor. That again is another manifesto promise delivered,” he said.
Vice Chancellor and Principal of MMTU, Prof. Philip John Kanu, said it was a moment of joy to celebrate the transformation of the Milton Margai College of Education and Technology, MMCET, into a university, adding that investing in education was the best thing President Julius Maada Bio was doing for the people of Sierra Leone.
He further noted that the pride and dignity, which the university deserved for a long time, had been restored, adding that a lot of sacrifices were made by past principals of the institution to reach a university status.
“With this pronouncement today, this university has developed a strategic roadmap in making progress that will align with the status of a modern university. I am hopeful that this new status has the potential of making this university one of the greatest in this nation,” he maintained.
Professor Kanu also thanked his colleagues and students at the university for holding on to the fort and seeing to it that the institution attained that height. He, therefore, urged them to continue working harder and live to the expectations of a university.
Chairman Tertiary Education Commission, TEC, Prof. Aliyageen Mohamed Alghali, said he was privileged to make a statement at a milestone event in the history of education in the country. He said that the new phenomenon of transforming polytechnic colleges into universities by President Julius Maada Bio would motivate those who felt inferior in the educational sector.
“The process of upgrading the MMCET into a university was a daunting and hectic task. Let me on behalf of the TEC congratulate the review committee of the university for a job well done. The TEC is pleased to inform this gathering that the university has gone through all scrutiny and certified to become a university,” he assured.
Prof. Alghali further assured that the commission would continue to work with all universities in the country to improve on the quality of their service to the nation,” he concluded.
The Minister of Higher and Technical Education, Prof. Alpha Tejan Wurie, stated that it was a special and triumphant day for the Goderich community, adding that education had always been a bedrock to national development. He said that was why the government of President Bio was investing in education for a brighter and prosperous Sierra Leone.
The Minister also maintained that upgrading MMCET, the Eastern Polytechnic and the construction of a new university in Kono was a testament to show that the government was ready to improve the human capital of the country.
“The government of President Bio has introduced the Student Loam Scheme. This is meant to improve on the number of people who want to access quality higher education. Government has also secured funding to improve on the infrastructure of these new technical universities. We are experiencing a transformational transition in our education sector. This is the best a sober government can do for its citizens,” he ended.
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